Leopard Trek Daniele Bennati won this afternoon’s 6.8km time-trial at the Circuit de la Sarthe to increase his race lead.

Britain’s David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) led for most of the stage, but his mark of 8-19 was surprisingly eclipsed by by sprinter Bennati, who was the last man to leave the start-house.



The Italian broke his run of seven successive podium finishes without a win yesterday when he outsprinted Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) in the opening stage.



Nevertheless, this is Millar’s best result of the year and moves him up to second overall. The 34 year old is getting back into shape after a debilitating bout of flu, which caused him to miss the cobbled Classics this year.



It wasn’t all bad news for Garmin-Cervelo: Millar’s young teammate Michel Kreder took the bunch sprint win in this morning’s short morning second stage.

The race concludes on Friday with a 167km stage from Le Mans to Bonnetable.



Results

Circuit de la Sarthe: stage three time-trial, Angers, 6.8km

1. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek 8-13

2. David Millar (Gbr) Garmin-Cervelo at 6secs

3. David Zabriskie (Usa) Garmin-Cervelo



General classification after stage three


1. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard-Trek 7-24-18

2. David Millar (Gbr) Garmin-Cervelo at 16secs

3. David Zabriske (Usa) Garmin-Cervelo

4. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ at 17secs

5. Blel Kadri (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 18secs